Child Injury Surveillance Program

Emergency departments (ED) play an important role in child maltreatment identification, early intervention and prevention, particularly for acute injuries. 

A study conducted in EDs over a four year period (2001-2005) raised concerns that there may be missed opportunities for identifying maltreatment and for referring families for further assessment and support. The research concluded that the identification of non-accidental external causes of injury in children could be improved by, amongst other things, a structured protocol to help identify cases of maltreatment.

Child Injury Surveillance Program format

The format of the Child Injury Surveillance Program was developed by two paediatricians and is based on the format in use at PCH Emergency Department. The program is devised to be utilised with any child under 2 years of age who presents at any ED with injury, poisoning or burns.  

The format offers a parent information sheet, injury assessment template that forms the medical record and the proposed format of a child injury surveillance program i.e. HAES alert, setting up safety net meetings, patient record reviews and ongoing review of cases.


  1. O'Donnell, M, Nassar, N, Jacoby, P & Stanley, F (2011) Western Australian emergency department presentations related to child maltreatment and intentional injury: Population level study utilising linked health and child protection date. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 48 (2012) 57-65
Last Updated: 27/10/2020